Obituary’s Dying Of Everything: death metal icons show the kids how it should be done

Album review: death metal OGs Obituary deliver their strongest album in decades with Dying Of Everything

Obituary: Dying Of Everything album cover
(Image: © Relapse)

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Although Cannibal Corpse have occasionally been dubbed “the AC/DC of death metal”, due to their long-standing adherence to a crowd-pleasing signature style and formula, the appellation surely works better for fellow Florida residents Obituary. One of the genre’s best- loved and most successful bands – 1992’s The End Complete reached the highest placing of any pure death metal band on the UK album chart – they’ve always incorporated a compulsively headbangable groove into their calculatedly uncomplicated and uncluttered song structures.

“It’s easy listening,” singer John Tardy declares in the new album’s accompanying press release. “You can just enjoy it without having to think too much about it.” John’s drummer brother (and Andrew WK alumni) Donald adds, “When it comes to songwriting, we’ve always said, ‘Keep it simple, stupid.’” 

Also like the Aussie rock legends, Obituary suffered a bit of a mid-career lull – a run of four or five so-so records that satiated the diehards but did little to build on the legacy of their classic early work.

Arguably that slump only started to reverse with 2017’s eponymous platter, where the band seemed to rediscover a sense of hunger and urgency. Nearly six years on, no wonder that hunger and urgency is even sharper on this goofily titled 11th album, created and honed into optimum shape during the planet’s two-year enforced closedown. Swinging midtempo advance cut The Wrong Time boasts the album’s dumbest riff, as well as its most flagrant Celtic Frost worship, but killer songs stack up throughout, with more substance and detail than the last LP’s smash-and-grab volley.

Both records contain 10 tracks, but Dying Of Everything is 12 minutes longer, more varied, more considered, more dynamic… and possibly Obituary’s strongest album in 30 years.

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.